I love Athens

Places to love and be loved. They do exist!

Where to run and where to hide

Let's have some time alone
The National Garden in the old days was the perfect getaway for couples in love seeking some privacy. But then came the peeping toms then the gardeners then garden security and finally loads of tourists. Hence all the lovebirds disappeared. Now that security is tighter than ever before even ducks can't go about their business, the gardens have become again a bit more private. At the most there will be a cat crossing your path or maybe a secret agent from the presidential house. No problem!

For a little bit more intimacy
In the old days the grass at Parko Eleftherias right behind the Venizelos statue was comfortable enough, especially behind the knolls at the back. But when the garden at the Megaron started having a life of its own all love making was driven away by loud music and tons of people. Now the left side towards NIMITS hospital is quieter.

Tae Kwon Do parking lot, Faliro. Huge, relaxed even when there is a show going on inside. The seaside part of the parking lot is much better, cleaner and there is always the sea breeze in the background.

Stay clear of very remote places and very thick bushes. They are dangerous. You can always use a hotel room. They have to make a living also.

Love hotels

Kifissia, in the north: For married people
Kavouri and surroundings: Combined with a fish tavern for big spenders
Tzitzifies: Threesomes accepted
Exarchia: For bohemian types, gays and people in a hurry (conveniently centrally located).

The absolute test
The best way to understand whether you really like someone is to take him to a chop shop. That's the place where all cuteness and sex appeal disappear and things get dirty. The 3rd or 4th date has got to be at a hardcore chop shop: Vlahika Varis. Is she equally attractive with a lamb chop in her hand staring into your eyes lovingly?

Love confession

THE DON'Ts

Never at Plateia Eirinis (and generally speaking avoid the historic center). There are beautiful girls all around making it impossible to concentrate to what you really want to say.
Never at your favourite bar. Everyone you know will know before it is even official.
Never at the Lycabettus parking lot. First of all there is no room for all of you there. Secondly, instead of listening to the sound of silence, the distant city humming and the crickets in the bushes you get to listen to screeching tires and questionable music from strange guys racing their cars.There is no love there.
Never at Ermou str., Attica, Golden Hall etc. These are the temples of spending and not for loving each other. For heaven's shake!
Never in a new age restaurant. As soon as she says yes everybody starts clapping. Damned American movies.
Never on the beach. You can not tuck your tummy in for as long as it takes for her to decide.

THE DOs

Pick a remote spot but not too remote so not to make them nervous.
Lycabettus, Agioi Isidotroi, first bench after the kiosk. Beautiful view, the Acropolis in front of you and a small fountain to your side.
Take a walk through Anafiotika. It's picturesque, shows that you really know Athens, there is a small park with a view, narrow streets to kiss in, reminds you of an island. Next step is being in an actual postcard.
At the ancient Keramikos cemetery. There is peace and quiet and a metaphysical sense of futility. You will be overtaken by a poetic mood. This on the other hand might be a two way street because if you get overcome by depression you might break up before you even get together.
At the Saturday market on Kallidromiou. First of all because it is on a Saturday and on Saturdays we all feel better. Secondly, because it's a bohemian style market and works well as a background. Third of all because you have all those stands around you can pick a bunch of flowers anytime. Be careful not to pick up a bunch of healthy greens.
At the Karaiskaki stadium. During the match, when they score the winning goal and everyone is cheering this is when you kiss. You have seen your share of TV commercials.
At a Terra Vibe concert. You will say nothing. You will walk on to them from behind, hug and kiss them on the neck.

Ideal places to...

Say I am sorry
At Nancy's Serbetospito at Psirri. Or alternatively at any other place with many many sweets.

Suggest you live together
At ΙΚΕΑ, as long as you agree with everything he/she likes (when she says yes, you will exchange them for all the things you like).

To propose marriage
At Praktiker, at the chainsaw aisle. You will steer the conversation towards how you would make your dream home.

Flirting spot
Big bookstores (Ianos, Public etc.). You chat them up according the books you see they have already chosen. Show interest. Speak in a quiet voice. It's sexier.

Bad flirting spot
Small, specialized bookshops (Tilt). Hardcore readers gather there, they have no attention left. And everyone there can hear you.

The best secret date in the city
The French Institute café. (We just gave it away…)

The next best spot to have a love quarrel in Athens
Anger rooms. You break, you shout, you destroy you let off steam and then you grab a bite at Psirri.
(Limba, Pittaki 6, Athens, 2114065700)

The best spot to take your secret lover
At Philopappou, as you walk up from the Acropolis, to your right you will find a hidden pick-nick table. It is remote enough for a secret romance with a great view of Athens and you will have nothing to worry about.

The best spot to have a serious conversation
A hot air balloon ride. They will have nowhere to go...

Where to take her on Valentine's day if...

You have just gotten together: Marina Flisvou for romance by the sea
You have been together for long: Shopping, it's February, it's sales time, you will all be happy.
You are married: Where you first kissed. Memories create feeling.
You are secret lovers: Nowhere. Any other day if someone show you, you could make an excuse. On Valentine's day there are no excuses.

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©Thanassis Karatzas

©Thanassis Karatzas